Monday, 06 July 2020 09:58

$162m waterway clean-up package

Written by  Staff Reporters
The package will deliver 500 jobs within the first year and over 2000 jobs over the lifetime of the projects. The package will deliver 500 jobs within the first year and over 2000 jobs over the lifetime of the projects.

A new package of 23 projects across the country aims to clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced the package over the weekend.

Of the $162 million dollar package, $100 million will go towards the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme to halt degradation of the Kaipara harbour. The remaining $62 million will be spent on 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils.  

The projects are funded from the $1.1 billion Jobs for Nature package announced in the 2020 Budget. $433 million of that fund has been allocated to regional environmental projects such as these.

“These projects will help restore wetlands, rivers and streams, regenerate native bush and control pests and weeds while creating much needed jobs in the regions,” said Ardern.

“Many of these jobs do not require extensive training for new workers, so they are good to go. Previous jobs for nature projects have matched workers displaced from the tourism sector and the same can happen here. 

Ardern says New Zealand’s “clean green image” must be protected as it is how products and tourism are marketed. 

The initiatives include $11.2 million towards restoring Lake Horowhenua wetlands and $9 million towards Mahurangi East River and land restoration projects, said Parker.

“These 22 projects were selected because they deliver clear and immediate job creation, significant environmental outcomes, regional spread, and because of engagement in them by iwi and community groups.”

Parker says the projects were chosen from a list of more than 300 submitted by regional councils.

Projects were chosen by a panel of people from the Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, and Ministry for Primary Industries.

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Lely offerings for the future

Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.

Designed to connect data from a range of on-farm equipment and suppliers into one management system, it creates a real-time decision-support platform, to make the farmer’s life easier, the herd healthier and the farm more profitable, says Lely.

Developed over a 24-month period, with over 100 test farmers in seven countries, working with 75 engineers, designers, farm management advisors, veterinarians and AI specialists, the new application will eventually replace the current Lely T4C management system. It uses smart algorithms and the cloud to deliver data that is processed into actionable information that is always accessible on any device in a user-friendly way.

Lely claims the Horizon application unburdens farmers from routine decision making and helps them optimise their workloads, using integrated routines based on easily scheduled cow ‘touches’, create logical and more efficient workflows. It is also possible to assign a certain task to an employee and to schedule a time slot for the cow touch, rather than analysing different reports and filtering long lists.

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To ensure full support in the migration to Lely Horizon, existing Lely T4C customers will be personally informed by their Lely Center before the end of 2020.

The migration is planned in a phased approach, from country to country, over the year 2021.

Also launched at the event, Lely Exos is an autonomous concept for harvesting and feeding fresh grass to the herd.

The company suggests that feeding fresh grass makes better use of available roughage, suggesting “fresh” has between 10 and 20% more nutritional value than grass silage, as there are minimal losses typically seen during mowing, tedding, raking, harvesting and feeding.

Lely suggests that feeding fresh grass over an extended season reduces the amount of silage that has to be conserved, reduces the need for concentrates and bought-in feed and increase the margin made on each litre of milk produced.

Based around an all-electric vehicle that mows and feeds, Exos is light weight and uses soil friendly technology, that can be exploited throughout the growing season. Design to work 24/7 as feed requirements change, the system places no constraints on labour or time, while it is also designed to work in tandem with the Lely Vector automatic feeding systems.

In operation, Exos also collects field data as it goes about its job, giving framers live data on grass supply and lending itself to a further concept of delivering a targeted liquid fertiliser as it passes over a harvested area.

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